You have termites and you’re searching for a natural method to kill these destructive pests. If you have a massive infestation, it’s often better to forget the natural treatments and call in a professional.
This may seem like a drastic measure, but termites can cause structural damage to your home.
If allowed to feast on the wood in your home, there may be so much damage that the home needed severe repairs or may be inhabitable. But if you’re just starting to notice these pests around your home, there are home remedies for termites that will work well.
But again, if the problem persists, you’ll want to call an exterminator or have the home’s structural integrity examined.
Table of Contents
12 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Termites
1. Orange Oil
A surprise DIY termite treatment that many people don’t know about is using orange oil to kill termites. This oil is readily available online, and there are even organic options available to ensure that the oil is as pure as possible.
The main killing component in this oil is d-limonene.
You can also buy this compound, but it’s recommended that you use orange oil. This compound has a strong smell of oranges, and it’s the reason that the rind of lemons and oranges have their smell.
D-limonene can be distilled without breaking down, and it’s often found in cleaning products as a solvent.
The reason people don’t use this compound directly is that it’s combustible, so it does pose a danger when applied to furniture. But when you use it via orange oil, it doesn’t maintain this combustion element, which is why it’s always important to use orange oil.
What you’ll need for this treatment is:
- Orange oil
- A rag
You’ll want to wear gloves and apply the oil to a rag which, will them apply the oil on surfaces where termites are seen. This will need to be reapplied for several days until the termites have had the time to go through the applied oil.
Be very generous with this oil.
In the event that the infestation is very intense, you’ll want to drill a small hole in the wall where you know termites are present. Some people will use a stethoscope to listen for termites activity in the wall. This is what many professionals will do.
When you find where the activity is most prominent, drill a hole in the wall and inject orange oil into the hole.
Keep reinjecting the oil over a period of several days, and you’ll kill a lot of termites along the way.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Want to know how to treat for termites using natural products?
Diatomaceous earth is a pest killer we recommend keeping in every home. This substance will kill everything from carpenter ants to termites and countless other insects. The best thing is that it isn’t toxic to humans or animals, so there is no need to worry when using DE to kill any type of pests.
You’ll find this substance online or in some local hardware stores.
DE will break through the outer shell of termites and many other bugs. Surprisingly, this will not kill the pest alone. But over a short period of just a few days, the shell will start to dry out, and the DE will cause the termites to essentially die from dehydration and drying out.
It sounds almost cruel, but these pests will eat through the beams supporting your home, so drastic action is needed.
All you need to do is sprinkle DE in areas of the home where you see termite activity developing. Small coatings work best. You’ll repeat this process once a day over a week or so and then reevaluate the situation to determine what to do next.
You can also sprinkle this substance around the foundation of the home.
3. Neem Oil
Neem oil has an odd smell, but it’s also nontoxic and safe to use. A lot of pets are repelled by the smell of neem oil, and they won’t be harmed by neem oil either. This is a lot like the orange oil in application, and in some respects, it’s even more effective.
The reason why is that neem oil is a natural growth regulator.
What this means is that it will not allow the termites to molt, which is required for them to go through new phases as they progress to adults. And this will actually cause termites to stop eating and laying eggs, resulting in a short-lived infestation.
Note: Termites need to come in contact with neem oil to die, so you need to place the oil in strategic areas.
You’ll need neem oil, which can be purchased in many stores and online, and application is best done with a cotton ball.
Now, all you need to do is:
- Apply to infested areas generously
- Apply to any furniture being eaten
- Reapply regularly
If you apply neem oil in the appropriate spots, it will kill the termites and stop future termites from spawning.
Borax is a potent termite killer, and it will kill subterranean termites quickly and effectively. This is a great method that even some professionals will use. What happens is that the borax will also dehydrate the termite much like DE, but it also causes a disruption in their nervous system that causes the system itself to shut down.
Applying borax needs to be done every 2 – 3 days to ensure that these pests have been killed.
All you need to do is apply borax evenly wherever it is that you find termites. Some people will even make a spray that they put on wood to deter termites. This spray can be made by:
- Adding 1 tsp of borax into a spray bottle
- Adding 8 ounces of water into a spray bottle
Shake up the mixture really well, and spray your furniture and any areas where an infestation has broken out. This natural method works very well, but you need to be very cautious when using this method when you have pets.
If ingested, borax can be toxic to pets.
So, if you have pets, you may want to try the previous DIY termite treatments listed.
5. Wet Cardboard
Want to know how to get rid of termites naturally? Wet cardboard is an old remedy, but it’s an effective one. Termites love cellulose, and cellulose is found in cardboard.
This trick is really more of a lure than a killer, but it will help make your fight against termites easier.
- Place the wet cardboard near an infested area.
- Once you see a high concentration of termites, apply an insecticide to kill them.
It’s a simple solution, but it’s an effective one. Just make sure that you’re placing the box outside if you’re using an outdoor spray. Only use insecticides that are safe for indoor use if you want to try this trick inside your home.
6. Introduce Nematodes
Why not use nature to your advantage when fighting termites? Nematodes are parasitic worms, and they love to eat termites.
You can find these worms in specialty stores, but you can also buy them online. Simply release the nematodes wherever you know or suspect there are termites, and they’ll get right to work hunting for their lunch.
The nematodes will eventually start reproducing, creating new termite killers to further cull the population of these pests. These worms will continue to seek out termites until they’re gone.
What’s great about this method is that it’s natural and safe. Just make sure that you’re getting the right kind of nematode. Otherwise, these worms could destroy your garden.
Beneficial nematodes are 1/25” to several inches long, and they have translucent, slender, unsegmented bodies.
Generally, these worms require moist and humid conditions to thrive, so you want to ensure that your soil is fairly warm.
Vinegar is a great natural cleaner for the home, but it can also be an effective insecticide.
To kill termites with household vinegar, mix:
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- Juice of 2 lemons
Add the solution to a spray bottle, and spray areas in and around your home where you see termite activity.
It’s important to remember that this treatment won’t last forever. You’ll need to reapply the spray regularly to kill the termites.
8. Apply Beauveria Bassiana
Beauveria bassiana is a type of soil fungus that is really effective at keeping certain insects away from the home.
Simply apply this soil fungus to areas around your home where you know there is termite activity. Once the termites come into contact with it, they become hosts for the fungus. Eventually, the fungus will feed on the termite’s body, killing it slowly in the process.
9. Let the Sun Shine Through
Exposing infested areas and items to sunlight is an age-old remedy for termites. These pests hate the heat, and they prefer humid, moist environments.
Expose infested items to termites, and if you must, consider cutting down trees near your home that are shading its perimeter.
10. Flood Them Out
If you have subterranean termites, flooding the soil is a highly effective way to get rid of these pests – especially if the colony is under your yard.
Subterranean termites create mud tubes underground which allow them to travel to different locations. These tubes allow the entire colony to connect to your home.
Simply turning on your garden hose and saturating the soil with water will flood out these pests and cause their mud tubes to collapse. The flooding will kill many termites, but the collapsing of these mud tunnels will also force any surviving termites to find a new home.
11. Clove Oil
Clove oil is a simple, natural termite killer that you can make at home with just two ingredients:
- 6 drops of clove oil
- 1 cup of water
Fill a spray bottle with the water, and then add 6 drops of clove oil. Shake up the solution to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Now, spray affected areas with the clove oil mixture to get rid of termites.
You’ll need to reapply this spray daily or every few days for it to be most effective.
12. Garlic Oil
Garlic oil is another effective termite spray that’s both natural and easy to apply. All you need are a few simple ingredients to create this solution:
- 8 drops of garlic oil
- 2 drops of neem oil
- 1 cup of water
The neem oil is optional, but it will make your spray more effective. Neem has natural insecticide properties, and it will also help combat other pests.
Simply add water to a spray bottle, and then add both the garlic and neem oils. Shake up the bottle to mix the solution, and spray affected areas.
Like with clove oil, you’ll need to make sure that you reapply this spray daily or every few days to keep termites under control.
13. Soapy Water
A natural termite killer that people have been using for decades. It’s no secret that dish soap is really effective at killing most insects. Termites are no exception.
The soap coats the termites, suffocating and killing them in the process.
And you probably have everything you need in your kitchen already.
To make this termite spray, mix:
- 6 tablespoons of liquid dish soap
- 8 cups of water
Add both ingredients to a spray bottle, and shake gently to mix. The mixture should get bubbly from mixing the soap and water together.
Now, spray affected areas with the solution. Reapply daily or every few days to kill termites on contact.
The great thing about this bug spray is that it’s non-toxic. Even if your dog licks up the soap/water solution, you don’t have to worry about him being poisoned. He may not like the taste and he may have some tummy trouble, but he’ll be fine.
14. Canola Oil Trap
Canola oil is another effective way to trap and kill termites without using harsh chemicals or insecticides.
Simply apply canola oil to affected areas, and watch the termites die. Like soap, canola oil will coat the termite’s body and make it impossible for it to breathe. Eventually, these pests suffocate and die.
Canola oil can be staining, so you may want to apply it to wet cardboard or paper to prevent damage to your floor, walls or personal items.